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Kenneth Branagh knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

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LONDON (AP) - Kenneth Branagh, who has played royalty on stage and screen, has been made a real-life knight by Queen Elizabeth II.

The British actor said he was pleased to be honored in the year of the queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. He said that "it's been a hell of a year for the U.K. and I feel very honored to be a tiny part of it."

Belfast-born Branagh was knighted at a Buckingham Palace ceremony Friday for services to drama and for his charity work in Northern Ireland.

Best known as a Shakespearean actor and as TV detective "Wallander," Branagh joins the pantheon of theatrical knights alongside the late Sir Laurence Olivier _ whom Branagh played in "My Week With Marilyn."

He has also directed films including "Henry V."

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